HR Glossary  /  Health and Safety  /  WHMIS 2015 

WHMIS 2015 

What is WHMIS 2015? 

WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. The system was last majorly updated in 2015 when elements of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (a United Nations program) was integrated into the Canadian legislative scheme. This is why you will often see references to “WHMIS 2015.” This integration was done to standardize Canada’s approach with those of other countries and thereby improve consistency, communication, and overall safety. WHMIS 2015 establishes the requirements for labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous materials. Hazardous materials can only be used, handled, and stored in the workplace after they are properly identified and labelled, SDSs are made available, and employees have received training or instruction on their safe use, handling, and storage. 

What is a safety data sheet (SDS)? 

Professional reference letters are generally provided by an employee’s current or former supervisor. Although a reference letter may be provided by a human resources representative or a peer, most employers prefer and sometimes require references to be from a candidate’s former or current supervisor, or a higher-level manager at the organization.  

What are WHMIS symbols? 

WHMIS symbols or pictograms are graphic images that appear on hazardous chemical labels to denote the type of hazard. From a quick glance, the user of the chemical can see, for example, that a product is flammable. Most pictograms have a distinctive red square as a border, and the square is set on one of its points. The image inside the border depicts the specific hazard associated with the hazardous material. The only exception to this is the pictogram for biohazardous infectious materials, which is a black circle with the biohazard symbol set in black. 

WHMIS Resources:  

  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 2015 Compliance Policy (on app)  
  • WHMIS 2015 Training Comprehensive (Immersive) 
  • WHMIS 2015 Training 

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